Brazilian jiu-jitsu superstar Michelle Nicolini had her long-awaited fight against Singapore’s Tiffany Teo in their ONE Championship strawweight match.
The first round started off fast, with both fighters eager to exchange strikes. Nicolini went for a takedown, and although Teo was able to defend, Nicolini pushed her against the cage when they got to their feet.
The fight then went to the ground, with Nicolini sweeping Teo and then unsuccessfully trying for a leg lock. The competitors resumed the match on their feet before Nicolini achieved a takedown with barely a minute left in the first round. The Brazilian fighter passed Teo’s guard to mount and landed a few strikes before going for an armbar, which she didn’t manage to finish before the clock ran out.
The beginning of the second round saw Teo finding more success, landing a few significant strikes and working some ground-and-pound on Nicolini. However, she soon found herself in trouble when Nicolini took her back. Teo evaded her opponent’s choke and ended up in her guard before Nicolini once again swept her and passed to mount. Again, Teo got away from Nicolini to bring the fight back to the feet before the round ended.
Nicolini began the third round with an unsuccessful takedown attempt before taking a few hard kicks to the leg from Teo. Teo continued to batter the clearly exhausted Nicolini, who attempted to take the fight to the ground before being stood up by the referee. Another takedown attempt from Nicolini resulted in Teo landing in her guard with under a minute left in the fight.
The fight went to the judges, who unanimously scored the fight in favor of Teo. This brings Nicolini’s MMA record to 5-2.
Nicolini was the second major grappler-turned-MMA-fighter featured on the card — earlier in the night, Garry Tonon won against Sung Jong Lee via submission.